SEYMOUR – The name Mellencamp evokes thoughts of guitars, heartland rock and youngsters named Jack and Diane.
But theres more than music in the artistry of John Mellencamp and his family, much of which can be seen in Jackson County, including Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour. The center is on land owned by John Mellencamp.
After the passing this year of his mother, Marilyn Mellencamp, the singers family is sponsoring a scholarship for Seymour High School seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in the arts.
To help finance the scholarship, an art show and free concert are scheduled at the center from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, where Community Foundation of Jackson County will take donations for the new scholarship.
Marilyn was an avid painter and studied with many well-known artists.
Fifty of her paintings will be on display throughout the event inside the art show on Saturday.
Marilyn is the Mellencamp who really pushed to create the arts center.
Shes why we exist, executive director Warren Baumgart Jr. said. For the family to be committed even after Marilyn is not with us is important to the center.
Marilyn not only was an accomplished artist herself, but she had always been a passionate supporter for the arts, Baumgart said.
It was Marilyns love for painting that prompted Johns interest in art as well, he added.
Marilyns family has collected close to 50 of the best paintings by Marilyn, Baumgart said. It will be an incredible opportunity to see the scope of Marilyn Mellencamps talent as a gifted artist all in one place.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. The exhibit will remain at SICA through July.
Her daughter, Janet Kiel of Seymour, said it was her fathers idea to have a show of Marilyns work, and the idea for the scholarship grew from there.
Its our way of mourning, Kiel said.
The scholarship is for any Seymour High School senior looking to pursue music, art or drama as a career. There is a lot more money for students pursuing engineering or law, Baumgart said. To single out students wanting to major in the arts is incredible.
The event will take place from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday and will feature an opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m., a showing of Marilyns art from 1 to 9 p.m. and a free concert featuring Brent James & the Contraband from 6 to 11 p.m.
Musical guests will include David Campbell, Mike Gerth, Kenny Parks and John Whitcomb. Brent James & the Contraband is scheduled to take the stage around 9 p.m.